The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Is it ok to do the second rise in the fridge?

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SnDBrian's picture

Is it ok to do the second rise in the fridge?

I am making a sourdough country bread and i want to know if i can do the second rise in the fridge? Should i heavily flour the banneton with coarse rye, white whole wheat,  or rice+ bread flour. I do not want the bread to dry out in the fridge while im at school.



wally's picture

don't usually go together in the same sentence.  The refrigerator is good for retarding your bread, but not helpful in making it rise.  With most (but not all) sourdoughs, you can retard your loaves in the refrigerator overnight after letting them fully proof outside first.

Flour your banneton and then cover the dough with plastic wrap or a cloth before putting it in the fridge.

Next day just take it out, preheat the oven, and once the oven has reached the desired temp, put the bread in straightaway - there is no need to let it come to room temperature if it's been proofed before retarding.

Good luck-


hutchndi's picture

Wally is right as usual, I actually prefer my sourdough retarded in the fridge, but always after the bulk rise. As for the prep for going into the fridge, use what you like to keep it from sticking (I like rice flour) and as for covering, something plastic or glass will keep the outer crust from getting too thick and leathery from exposure to the air. My favorite for this is clear plastic cake covers from the supermarket bakery, a bit of moisure is trapped inside as can be seen from the condensation the next day, but plastic wrap will work too as long as you dust the top of the dough to keep that from sticking also. 

Chausiubao's picture

If you're going to proof your loave in the refrigerator, you're going to have to keep an eye on it the first time to see how long it takes, generally, and make sure every time you do a refrigerator proof, conditions are exactly the same or else it'll overproof when you're sleeping or otherwise not available. 

So technically yes, you can proof in the refrigerator, but its going to take a long time, and its really easy to overproof it


sphealey's picture

While I won't disagree techncially with any of the replies above, I find that rising in the refrigerator generally works and results in a very good flavor.  The only problem I have encountered is doughs with a lot of rye in them, which tend to get so sour in a long rise that they destroy the gluten.  Other than that though it is usually fine.

I use a trick that someone here posted of putting the shaped loaf and its support (cookie sheet, baking pan, etc) inside a plastic garbage bag (clean!) sprayed with the mister to retain humidity.  I use 1-2 tall juice glasses to keep the bag from resting on the dough.


Sapphire baker's picture
Sapphire baker

There is usually no problem doing a second fermentation/proof in a refrigerator.  The dough should be covered tightly to prevent drying and to keep out unwanted odors.

Check it occasionally and deflate as needed, wetting the dough if required.

Before baking, simply bring to room temperature and closely monitor the proof until a wetted finger inserted in the dough leaves an indent that does not fill in.